Sunday, November 8, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 2 Corinthians Part 13 – The Proper Exchange

Paul's Epistles - 2 Corinthians
Part 13 – The Proper Exchange
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Paul's second letter to the church in Corinth began with letting the church know that Paul was happy to hear that the church had received and responded correctly to his first letter.

Remembering James 5:19, 20 " My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."  

Paul explained why he didn't visit them and that he was pleased they had responded well to his first letter, even though not all had repented.

Last week we looked at Paul encouraging the church to allow the offender of incest return to the congregation, because he had truly repented and turned away from his sin, therefore he had been forgiven. Paul said that his punishment by the church forcing him to leave the congregation was enough, and that since he had repented and was forgiven, they must allow him back.

Paul reminded them that it was not that long ago, they too were not living as God wanted them, and they repented, and were forgiven by Paul.

Paul reminds the church in Corinth, and us as well, that forgiveness to those who have repented is essential, not only because we are commanded to do so by Christ, but because when we forgive, we keep Satan from having a way to outwit us.

Satan will use our unforgiveness as a weapon against us in his schemes.

As long as we have unforgiveness against someone who has repented, we are being disobedient to the Lord, which in turn allows a foothold for Satan to work against us.

Satan is always looking for an area of our lives where we are being disobedient, which allows him room to work his schemes against us.

This week Paul speaks of Giving Materially to receive Spiritually

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE II Corinthians 8:16-24
Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel.19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.

a. Previous verses in this chapter explain the exchange
                                                     i. Material / monetary possessions of excess to those lacking

                                                  ii. In return, they provide Spiritual teaching / growth from their excess to them who were lacking

                                               iii. This is not what we are seeing today in a lot of ministries

                                                iv. We are witnessing more of the things we are warned about in scripture rather than what we are instructed to do.

b. Administration of the offering was taken very seriously

                                                     i. Pastor B.H.’s ministry gets over $200 million per year
1. He lives in a $10 million dollar estate
2. Owns his own private jet
3. Stays in hotel rooms costing thousands of dollars per night
4. Own multiple luxury vehicles
5. Owns multiple mansions
6. Is paid nearly $1 million per year

                                                  ii. Pastor J.M.’s ministry
1. She has spent more than $4 million on 5 different mansions
2. Her main mansion is 10,000 square feet with 8 car garage
3. Spent $10,000 renovating the bathroom
4. and is paid nearly $1 million per year

                                               iii. Pastor K.C. refuses to submit financial reports to the IRS
1. Paid over $20 million for a private jet
2. Also own an airport for the jet
3. Multiple mansions and expensive cars

                                                iv. Pastor C.D.
1. drew in $69 million in 2006
2. church “gave” him a Rolls Royce
3. Pastor C.D.’s statement about this, “Just because my life is excessive doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”

c. Paul states the leaders of the church are to ensure funds are spent appropriately
                                                     i. In Paul’s letter to Corinth, it is clear that the monetary offering they were giving was to cover the expenses of receiving spiritual men of God to aid in their spiritual growth.

                                                  ii. Is an excessive lifestyle at the expense of God’s people wrong?

                                               iii. What does scripture say?
1. Heb 13:5 (RSV) "Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have."

2. Mat 6:24 (NIV) "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

3. What Jesus says to lovers of money and excess - Mark 10:21-27,31 (Jer) Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, "There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, "My children," he said to them, "how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 

a. Titus and an unnamed brother were to go to Corinth
                                                     i. They would bring Spiritual growth

                                                  ii. and collect the offering from the church

b. This was meant to show the Glory of God
                                                     i. by showing the love of God

                                                  ii. Love by the Corinthian church giving from their monetary excess to poorer churches and ministers for their gain

                                               iii. This love was returned by the churches by sending of their excess (spiritual) to the church in Corinth for their gain

                                                iv. NEEDS of both being met by the other.

c. This also shows a care and concern for others
                                                     i. Meeting others needs is LOVE because you are putting them and their needs first

a. Scripture is clear about Tithe, Offerings and Alms
                                                          i. Where have the previous pastors gone wrong?

                                                       ii. 1 Thes 2:5 (Jer) ...Never at any time have our speeches been simply flattery or a cover for trying to get money.

                                                    iii. 2 Cor 2:17 (NIV) Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit.

                                                     iv. 1 Tim 6:5 (Phi) ...among men of warped minds who have lost their real hold on the truth but hope to make some profit out of the Christian religion.

                                                        v. 1 Tim 6:5-9 (NIV), who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.

                                                     vi. 1 Tim 6:10-12 (NIV) For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

b. Are ministers supposed to be paid?
                                                     i. Paul shows in the verses today, YES, the church exchanged from their abundance of wealth to meet ministers needs, and the ministers exchanged from the abundance of their Spirit to meet the churches needs.
1. Key word...Needs

                                                  ii. I Timothy 5:17, 18 "The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. "For the Scripture says, 'Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,' and 'The worker deserves his wages.' "
                                               iii. Paul's own practice is instructive here. Sometimes he took payment for his ministry, sometimes he did not. I Corinthians 9:1-18 and II Corinthians 11:7 show he found work instead of accepting money from the Corinthians, but II Corinthians 11:8-9 and Philippians 4:15-18 make it clear he did accept support from other churches, and in I Corinthians 9:14 he stoutly defends that right. In fact, in II Corinthians 12:13 he tells the Corinthians they were less favored than the other churches, because they did not enjoy the privilege of giving to his needs!

                                                iv. Galatians 6:6  Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

c. The difference between the right and wrong thing to do
                                                     i. Paul says “Taking pains to do what is right.”

                                                  ii. They ensured the money given to them did what it was meant to do
1. Offerings are given by believers above/beyond tithe
2. These offerings are used in exchange for spiritual growth
3. Is someone growing Spiritually from the offering?

                                               iii. Doing what is right in the sight of God (according to scripture)

                                                iv. Doing right in the sight of man (moral law of the land)
1. Why? So the devil has no room for accusations!

CONCLUSION - Giving to the work of the Lord guarantees blessings

Types of offerings and their proposed scriptural uses

Tithe - God requires followers to give to the ministers of the gospel as a means for them, their families and the building for meetings.

example: Tithe collected every week at church.

Alms - God calls followers to be generous to the poor, widows, fatherless children, anyone in need regardless of their faith, or lack thereof.

example: giving to food banks, children’s ministries, aid foundations, non-profits designed to help the needy and poor.

Love Offering - Or “free-will gift”, is not required, but given from an abundance, or a calling from the Spirit to monetarily bless someone.

example: Either the Spirit of God compels you to give money to someone.

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